Before the construction of the modern Interstate system, roadside America was dotted with souvenir shops. Just about every landmark, point-of-interest and motel had one. Our own Route 12 passing through Elkhorn and Sugar Creek, Wisconsin was no exception.
In homage to the sorts of tchotchkes sold at the original prohibition-era Wandawega Hotel, we’re retro-fitting our vintage cigarette machine to dispense the same nostalgic and odd mementos of our childhood.
We discovered a souvenir maker that’s been supplying Wisconsin tourists for over ninety years and tasked them to create a custom batch of iconic American camp favorites. Very soon, you’ll be able to stop by the Camp Lodge to take home a novelty reminder of Camp Wandawega for a few bucks a pop. Dispensed in a hand-stamped craft box, sealed with a prohibition-style tax band, with a certificate of authenticity in each box that reminds people: WE’RE NOT NEW, AND WE’RE NOT IMPROVED. Camp Wandawega since 1925
Some inspiration for this project came from diving deep into the history of roadside America. Long before the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, countless little shops dispensed local-themed souvenirs and mementos for the weary traveler…